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Coping with the Emotional Impact of Cancer—Become an Active Patient and Take Charge of Your Treatment post image

$18.95 trade paperback
224 pages, 6″ X 9″
ISBN: 978-0-9801758-3-7

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Coping with the Emotional Impact of Cancer—Become an Active Patient and Take Charge of Your Treatment

by Neil A. Fiore, Ph.D.
Foreword by Harold H. Benjamin, Ph.D.

Drawing on his experience as a thirty-year survivor of a “terminal” cancer diagnosis and his training as a licensed psychologist, Neil Fiore provides deep insight and practical tools for:

  • managing the initial shock at receiving a cancer diagnosis
  • lessening stress and worry
  • combating depression
  • preparing your body for treatment
  • living a rich full life with cancer despite the fear and possibility of recurrence

Wise and compassionate, this book shows patients and their families how to work with medical caregivers, communicate with each other, and overcome feelings of helplessness.

About the Author

Neil Fiore is a founding member of the National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship, the author of The Now Habit and Awaken Your Strongest Self, a Vietnam vet, and a licensed psychologist and coach in private practice.


“Neil Fiore is a long term survivor. Coping with the Emotional Impact of Cancer is a book that may save your life.  Don’t enter an oncologist’s office without it. ” —Rachel Naomi Remen, M.D., author, Kitchen Table Wisdom and My Grandfather’s Blessings

“Dr. Neil Fiore is a Godsend to those making the journey through cancer. His wise and practical advice, which comes from personal experience as well as years of working with others on a healing path, is a gift beyond measure.” —Joan Borysenko, Ph.D., author of Minding the Body, Mending the Mind

“I found myself saying ‘yes’ over and over as I read each chapter. A breast cancer survivor, and an oncology social worker, I found wisdom and insight scattered throughout the pages.” —Patricia Fobair, LCSW, MPH, author and editor, Learning to Live Again and clinical social worker at Stanford University Medical Center’s radiation oncology department

 Table of Contents

Foreword to the First Edition
How to Use this Book
  Introduction: How a Psychologist Coped with His Own Cancer
Discovering My Cancer • Finding a Doctor • A Second, and a Third, Opinion • Facing Surgery • Waking Up During Surgery • A Return of Meaning to Life • Different Agendas • Fighting to Get Chemotherapy • Chemotherapy Begins • The Long Fight • A Turning Point • The Road Back to Health • Meeting with the “What If” Voices • Lessons Learned—Lessons to Share
1 Coping with Your Diagnosis
The Initial Shock • Deciding to See a Doctor • Preparing to See a Doctor • Do You Want to Know the Diagnosis? • How the Diagnosis is Conveyed • Know the Difference between the Diagnosis and the Prognosis • Coping with the Impact of the Diagnosis • The Stress of the Diagnosis • Changes in Self-Perception
2 The Power of Your Beliefs
Why Consider Your Beliefs? • The Meaning of the word “Cancer” • Anger at Yourself for Being Human • The Need to Make Sense of Illness and Suffering •
Discovering Your Beliefs • Illusion of Control • How You Try to Explain Suffering • Review Your Reactions to the Diagnosis • New Ways of Thinking about Cancer • Five Stressful Reactions • Where Do I Go from Here?
3 Maintaining a Fighting Spirit: What You Can Do
How to Reduce Stress During a Stressful Time • Five Actions to Make More Energy Available for Healing • Expect a Surprise • Replace Negative Reactions • Nutrition: Feeding the Healthy Part of You • Nutrition Research • Race and Cancer • Too Much of a Good Thing • Expect a Positive Transformation
4 Managing the Stress of Serious Illness
Understanding Your Healthy Stress Response • The Power of Imager • Regaining Physical Control • Talking to Your Body • Regaining Cognitive Control • Five Steps to Integrating Physical and Cognitive Control • Exercise: Rate Your Stress Level
 5 Coping with Depression and Helplessness
Cancer and Depression • Options for Therapy and Medication • Three Contributors to Depression • How to Cope with Depression: Four Steps
 6 Becoming an Active Patient
You Are More Than Your Diagnosis • The Patient Role: Mastery or Helplessness • My Heart Attacked Me—My Cells Have Turned Against Me • Becoming an Effective Human Being • Being a Good Patient May Not Be Good for You • Who Knows What’s Best for You? • Know Your Doctor’s Assumptions • The Power of Choice
7 You and Your Doctor—Building a Working Relationship Statement: Vulnerability and Power Join Hands
How to Find a Quality Doctor and a First-Rate Hospital • Understanding the Basic Doctor-Patient Contract • Realistic Trust or Blind Faith? • Shared Responsibility, Shared Authority • Medical Training and Emotions • How to Take Charge of Your Medical Treatment • Be Prepared to Ask Questions • Take Me Seriously—Respect My Feelings • Medication • Protecting Yourself from Pessimism • The Misuse of Statistics • Resources for Treating the Whole Patient • Nutrition and Cancer Therapy • Psychosocial Support • The Team Approach • The Nurse • Recommendations
 8 Communication Skills: Staying Connected
Communications within the Family • Why Communicate Your Feelings? • Expressing a New Identity • Choosing How to Communicate • Speaking the Unspeakable • What the Family Can Say • Three Barriers to Communication • Three Essential Communication Skills • Different Timetables—Different Tasks • Changes in Family Roles • The Rights of Family Members
9 Fully Alive after Cancer—The Transformative Power of Facing a Life-Threatening Crisis
The Essential Lesson • Transformation—New Potential for Cancer Patients • The Power of Living in the Present • Centering Exercise • Mourning the Loss, Releasing the Past, Accepting Your Present • Shifting Roles • Change in Relationships
10 Coping with End of Life Issues
A Change in the Patient’s Role • Preparing for Your Final Days • Deciding on Terminal Care • Hospice Care for Terminal Patients • The Family’s Dilemma • Pain Control and Symptom Relief • Enhancing the Quality of Life • The Patient’s Family • Challenge–Choice: Life’s Consequences
A. Exercise for Recall of the Diagnosis
B. Reducing Stress by Making Yourself Safe with You
C. The Patient’s Bill of Rights
D. Resources